Putting lipstick on the pig
What it Is
Infiniti QX56 Preview – 2007 Detroit Auto Show: Infiniti’s giant QX56 is a seven-passenger luxury SUV based on the Nissan Armada, which itself is based on the Nissan Titan full-size pickup truck. Because the QX56 is based on the Nissan Armada and Titan, luxury SUV buyers have easily seen through what has been a rather thin veneer of leather and wood trim concealing a pedestrian foundation. Add the effect of growing pains at the assembly plant in Mississippi and skyrocketing gas prices, and the Infiniti QX56 stumbled right out of the gate. Key updates for the 2008 Infiniti QX56 aim to correct this problem.
Infiniti needs to get more QX56’s into American driveways to improve sales and the company’s bottom line. The significant cabin upgrades for 2008 should help improve the QX’s appeal when compared to the Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon Denali, Lincoln Navigator, and others.
What it Looks Like
It’s not easy to distinguish the new 2008 Infiniti QX56 from the old model. Thanks to new front and rear fascias, the look is a little cleaner, and now that it’s got standard 20-inch chrome wheels the stance is improved. Also new are the front fog lights, the roof rack, and two new colors: Serengeti Sand and Lakeshore Slate (shown here).
Inside is where Infiniti made major updates to the 2008 QX56. The wood trim is genuine, and accents a new Stone colored interior scheme (seen here). New standard features include a Burr-Brown audio system with a 9.5 gigabyte Music Box hard drive, a power folding third-row seat, and Infiniti’s Intelligent Key ignition and locking system. Additionally, 4WD models have a heated steering wheel. Options include a DVD entertainment system with a larger viewing screen and available real-time XM NavTraffic.
What We Think
Though the changes to the 2008 Infiniti QX56 are welcome and make the big ute more appealing, the reality is that few Americans want to buy a hulking SUV like this. Infiniti seems to be putting lipstick on its pig until it can build a performance crossover SUV larger than the FX to address the needs and preferences of today’s buyers rather than yesterday’s.
Photos courtesy of Christian J. Wardlaw